AUGUST 2009

Total printing-writing paper shipments down in June

According to the American Forest & Paper Association’s (AF&PA) June 2009 Printing-Writing Paper Report, total printing-writing paper shipments decreased 19.6 percent in June compared to June 2008. For the year to date, shipments were down 22.7 percent. United States purchases (shipments plus imports less exports) of printing-writing papers dropped 21.8 percent in June versus year-ago June and declined 24.1 percent for the year to date. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels decreased 22,600 tons, or 1.1 percent, from May, as uncoated paper inventory declines more than offset coated papers inventory increases.

First half 2009 uncoated free sheet (UFS) shipments were lower than first half 2008. UFS shipments were down 15.6 percent compared to June 2008, to 815,500 tons. While the June decrease is the largest in the past four months, June 2008 shipments were the second highest recorded in 2008 – the highest was January 2008. For the first half of 2009, UFS shipments were 15.2 percent below last year. U.S. purchases of UFS were also down, declining 16.1 percent when compared to June 2008. UFS inventories decreased 4.8 percent compared to last month, a decline of 51,800 tons.

Coated free sheet (CFS) shipments declined sharply for the sixth consecutive month. CFS shipments dropped by 27.5 percent compared to June 2008, to 280,900 tons. For the year to date, shipments of CFS were down 29.0 percent. United States purchases of CFS decreased even more, down 33.8 percent compared to last June and were off 32.1 percent for the year to date. CFS inventories increased 5.3 percent compared to May, an increase of 32,600 tons.

Declines in coated mechanical (CM) shipments slows but still in double-digits. CM shipments fell 16.6 percent when compared to June 2008, settling in at 280,700 tons. Year to date shipments of CM were down 32.7 percent compared to last year. United States purchases of CM were down 20.2 percent compared to June 2008, and for the year to date were down 33.6 percent. CM inventories increased 2.4 percent, or 6,900 tons, from last month.

Uncoated mechanical (UM) shipments declined by more than 20 percent compared to 2008 for all six months of 2009. UM shipments decreased 28.8 percent when compared to June 2008, to 142,400 tons, and for the year to date were down 27.6 percent. United States purchases of UM were down 24.5 percent when compared to June 2008 and were down 25.0 percent for the year to date. UM inventories decreased 10.2 percent, or 10,400 tons, from May.